DOJ questions Raffensperger for Trump election probe



Federal prosecutors examining former President Donald Trump’s efforts to cling to power following the 2020 election interviewed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in Atlanta on Wednesday.

Few other details about the meeting were available late Wednesday, including how long the parties met for, what exactly they discussed or whether Raffensperger was subpoenaed or agreed to speak voluntarily.

Raffensperger became a national figure after his infamous Jan. 2, 2021 phone conversation with Trump leaked. During their hour-long call, the former president asked the secretary to “find” 11,780 votes, enough to reverse Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow win in Georgia.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on the interview Wednesday, as did a Raffensperger spokeswoman.

“Georgia is a national leader in election security, integrity, and access,” the Raffensperger spokeswoman said. “Failed candidates and their enablers have peddled false narratives about our elections for personal gain for a long time and the voters of Georgia aren’t buying it.”

Prosecutors working with Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith have also reached out to Chris Harvey, who served as Georgia’s elections director in the secretary of state’s office during the 2020 elections, according to a source with knowledge of the communication who was not authorized to speak on the record.

A former police officer and homicide investigator, Harvey worked with local election officials to reduce lines at the polls in 2020 and install the state’s new voting system manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems. He also helped create the state’s absentee ballot request website and coordinated distribution of protective equipment to poll workers statewide during the pandemic.

Harvey received death threats as a result of his work and left the secretary of state’s office in May 2021. He’s now deputy director of the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council. He did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

The news that Raffensperger was speaking to federal prosecutors was first reported by The Washington Post. The news outlet also reported that the Justice Department probe has expanded to examine the various “alternate” elector plots in a half dozen swing states, including Georgia, aimed at swinging the election in Trump’s favor.

For Raffensperger, Wednesday’s interview came slightly more than a year after he appeared before the special grand jury that aided Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in her state-level investigation of efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results.

News outlets also reported that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was interviewed by federal prosecutors in New York City, further evidence that the DOJ probe into the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is picking up steam.

Willis is also investigating Giuliani, who spread conspiracy theories about the vote count in Georgia and elsewhere. He was named a target in the Fulton probe last summer.